A friend asked me if I would like to go to see the new Gala Show at Vivo in Las Americas. I agreed but having already seen the Decades Spectacular , Decades Go to Hollywood and the rude but never crude Decades Experience as well as a number of one-off theme nights, I did wonder if it would be a mish-mash of previous shows. This, however, wasn’t the case. For anyone who can recall the 1950/60s, this weekly Saturday dinner show runs along the lines of Sunday Night at the London Palladium. There was singing, dancing, illusion and of course the hilarious Bitter and Twisted.
To set the scene we arrived at 7.15 to have photos taken and were offered not only canapés and drinks but also chocolates. Once seated, our meal was served by the efficient Sammi and consisted of leek and potato soup served with warm bread and butter and crispy croutons. The main course was roast beef with sliced potatoes, peas and the best carrots I have ever tasted. People always say my carrots are good but these are delicious and I have asked Barry Pugh (don´t know whether he is Bitter or Twisted) for the recipe. Pudding, ice cream slice and to finish, shots of Ron Miel and Petit-fours. Praise should indeed go to Argelia Placeres Gomez the lady who cooks and prepares all of the delicious meals.
The first half of the show included the lovely Marc Craig, I say lovely because his father-in-law is one of my best friends in the UK and I would be in deep doodah if I said anything else. Marc however on the couple of occasions I have met him seems a genuinely nice person. He has been working at Vivo since 2009 when it was known as Chasers, originally with Mea Deen as the “Wildboyz”. When Mea left the island, Marc continued on his own and has been the resident singer for the past 3 and a half years. When not in the show he entertains holiday makers each evening on the terrace. His talent doesn’t stop at singing though, he started his career in the entertainment business at the tender age of 12 attending stage school where he trained as a dancer, singer and actor. So getting up on stage and dancing in the Gala Show was not the least bit daunting, in fact, it was in his words “like putting on a pair of comfortable shoes”.
The show continued with oodles of new and uproarious musical scenes. John and Barry work seamlessly together, combining classic clowning with outrageous panto. Yet again, the stage is in the blood. John grew up watching his granddad (Stan Ogden of Coronation Street) on TV twice a week so for him performing is the norm; he then went on to be a Bluecoat at Pontins so has years of experience. If memory serves me correctly, he got together with Barry in mid 2009 and they have gone from strength to strength. In my opinion, they are the funniest people you’re ever likely to watch, I thought the lady at the table next to mine was going to have a fit during John’s Gypsy Rose Lees ‘Let me Entertain You’ sketch. She could hardly breathe for laughing.
The routines are stitched together by the Decades Dancers, Bambi adding the glamour. When she came on stage I overheard the little girl next to me said Wow a princess! Bambi has been dancing with John W for the past 13 years and gave him his first dancing job, an Irish Show in Lanzarote. She also went to a Performing Arts College and studied all aspects of dance, drama and singing. As well as dancing and singing Bambi and John performed both sword swallowing and illusions, something they started doing together in 2004 but this is the first time they have performed these in Tenerife. John has been dancing since he was a 6 year old tot, he took a break while studying Business, Law, Ethics and Theatre (perhaps he should be called ‘Brains’) but was bitten by the duel bug ‘travel and entertainment’. He has since performed in a multitude of productions in venues all over the world, including the well known Talk Of The Town in Turkey.
You can tell just by the experience and qualifications of the people involved with Vivo’s shows how professional these are and whichever show you decide to see you should add at least one to your ‘Must Do’ list. It will certainly be one of the most memorable evenings of your holiday.